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Spain record resounding win in Georgia

Georgia 2-7 Spain
Rodrigo scored a hat-trick on his debut as the holders began their qualifying Group 5 campaign with a thumping away victory.

Rodrigo (left) struck a quickfire hat-trick in Kutaisi
Rodrigo (left) struck a quickfire hat-trick in Kutaisi ©Getty Images

Winners in Denmark during the summer, Spain got the defence of their UEFA European Under-21 Championship title off to an emphatic start in Georgia thanks in part to a hat-trick from debutant Rodrigo.

The SL Benfica striker, a scorer of three goals at the recent FIFA U-20 World Cup, continued his rich vein of form with a 19-minute hat-trick before the break. Isco had set Luis Milla's men on their way inside two minutes and struck his second, La Roja's third, midway through the first half.

A free-kick from Sergio Canales made it 6-0 by half-time, after which the holders eased up somewhat, an own goal from Iñigo Martínez reducing Georgia's arrears on 52 minutes. Canales then provided the cross for Marc Bartra to head number seven, though it was Otar Gabelia's team who had the final say when Nika Kvekveskiri beat David de Gea from long range late on.